Thursday, August 27, 2015

Let's hope the KEB-Hana merger constitutes an "emergency"

Like many other expats, I'm awaiting the revamping of the merged KEB-Hana bank online banking website. They've had limited functionality for about a month now as the system merger was in-progress. A bit annoying, really. I hope they come up with a better solution for non-Windows users after all this. In fact, they'll have to. I'm hopeful that this merger and the associated hassle it's caused the bank will be the "emergency" they need to light a fire under their asses.

In April 2015 NPAPI support will be disabled by default in Chrome [as indeed, happened] and we will unpublish extensions requiring NPAPI plugins from the Chrome Web Store. Although plugin vendors are working hard to move to alternate technologies [are they? This is Korea, after all...], a small number of users [all KEB customers using Chrome] still rely on plugins that haven’t completed the transition yet. We will provide an override for advanced users (via chrome://flags/#enable-npapi) and enterprises (via Enterprise Policy) to temporarily re-enable NPAPI while they wait for mission-critical plugins to make the transition.
In September 2015 we will remove the override and NPAPI support will be permanently removed from Chrome. Installed extensions that require NPAPI plugins will no longer be able to load those plugins. [Google Chromium Blog]

To minimize customers' inconveniency, KEB plans to take emergency measures before the termination of NPAPI. [KEB Google Chrome Notice]

It's a little comical then that the termination of the NPAPI standard coincidentally coincides with the KEB-Hana merger. The merged online banking site is supposed to be launched in just a few days now. Let's hope they've taken the opportunity to come up with a more reliable, simple means of doing online banking with Chrome. I won't hold my breath, but it will be interesting to see what they've come up with. Until then, best to stick with the phone apps.
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Friday, August 21, 2015

KT's new CLiP smartwallet: back up first!

Until this week, I had been a user of an of app called MoCa Wallet, which was a point card "smart wallet" app put out by KT Olleh. It was a convenient way to keep all my point cards in my phone, easy to be scanned when buying crap at Watsons or Paris Baguette.

That app asked me to download a new update to it this week, which I complied with, to discover that it went through a name change and massive face-lift, to become something called "Clip".

KT, the nation's second-largest mobile carrier, and its credit card affiliate, BC Card, rolled out a new mobile wallet service Tuesday.
"CLiP" is designed automatically to provide customers with information on credit card discount benefits and coupons they can use when they enter an affiliated store. The two companies said they want to attract 10 million users to the new (O2O) platform service this year. [Korea Times]

There are articles on it from Korea Herald and JoongAng Daily too.

They are not lying; as soon as you open this thing, it comes up with a buttload of coupon options for places nearby, frighteningly alerting me that I can get 200 won off a donut at the shop that is currently 53 meters from me. Um, ok. And don't even try to walk into a department store. It will know you are in there.

But what I want to warn you about is this: If you haven't updated to CLIP already, save your current point card information first! I stupidly just told it to go ahead and update, and in doing so, it wiped my entire "smart" (not so smart, after all) wallet's contents. I had at least 15 various point cards in there. All gone. It erased my entire account. Bummer. I had to create a new log-in, and manually go through my desk drawers finding the physical copies of the cards, after which it gave me the "convenience" of snapping a photo of each one to add its details to my new Clip wallet.

So be careful out there. Backup everything before upgrading.

By the way, I'm using this MoCa Wallet CLiP* simply because I'm a KT customer and it easily integrates with my Olleh Membership. If you're an SK subscriber, you can try Syrup but honestly there's no reason customers of either have to use one or the other. Both should work fine.

If you're curious, here's a nice blog post (Korean) about using CLiP, with lots of nice illustrations and screenshots to help guide you. The app's in Korean, and yes, it's a pain in the ass to set up. But less of a pain in the ass than sitting on a wallet holding a half-inch thick stack of cardboard or plastic point cards.

CliP [Google Play]
MoCa Wallet [iTunes Store] (hasn't yet changed over to "Clip" but will soon)

*Does KT have some sort of fetish for weird mixes capitalization? MoCa, CLiP, what's next? "OoLeH SuPeR coOL suMMeR dEALz"?
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